When an empty beach, a retreating tide and a brand new iPhone jumpstart a photographic reboot.
In early April I was finally able to get to my favorite beach town in southern Oregon. Eager to try out my new iPhone 13 Pro, the first morning found me making the short journey to a stretch of beach north of the jetty. Thankfully, it was blissfully empty of people (and their footprints), with soft morning light, and a retreating tide which gave me plenty of room to roam with time to explore. While winter tides typically produce a very smooth beach, this early morning Spring tide had left a virtual wonderland behind. Serendipity!
Stepping carefully, I was mindful not to mar the beautiful textures and patterns in the sand while framing shots in all directions. The abundance of whimsical surfaces left behind by the high tide were simply amazing. I saw 3D waves crafted solely from sand, rocks with sandy wakes left by receding wavelets, sea foam lace, as well as patches of sand containing streaks of granular minerals. All of these images were taken at the same time, on the same beach, within a rather small area, but what a variety of results!
Certainly there were many more wonders to discover, but I stopped photographing when the sun broke through with annoyingly bright light. Of course, the next day produced nothing in comparison.
I don’t believe I have ever seen such a display on a beach anywhere; although, a few years back, I witnessed the same beach during a minus tide with wide 4-5 foot deep canals left behind by the winter surf.
I typically visit this beach in stormy weather because I’m a beachcomber at heart. The powerful winter tides fairly rip into the sand, uncovering vast gravel areas full of wonderful treasures such as agates, garnets, sea glass, and small fossils. On the beach itself one can find fossilized wood, shells & bone, as well as chunks of quartz, jasper, and other interesting rocks. I once was lucky enough to find a very old Native American bone awl on this beach!
This trip definitely broke the photographic lull that I’ve been in for the last few months, of course, the new iPhone didn’t hurt either!
Equipment: iPhone 13 Pro Post processing: Adjustments to contrast in Lightroom
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